Leveraging your professional network of associates and friends can power your next career move. Here’s how to do it. 

If you’re in an active job search, you might be spending hours browsing online job boards and submitting tens or even hundreds of applications without getting any responses. You are not alone in your frustration and disappointment. Perhaps your CV or Linkedin profile does not promote you well, and it may be worth investing in a CV or resume writing service to better position yourself. The economy isn’t doing you any favors either.  

But don’t lose hope: The vast majority of jobs are never posted. According to some estimations, only 20% do get posted, and each of them receives dozens or even hundreds of applications. Then these applications are screened first by automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) before a human ever sees your CV. The radio silence is therefore not surprising.

What you should do, is to go after those 80% open jobs that are never published anywhere, and most of them are filled through personal contacts and networks.

Here’s the list you should do:

Spend time on research and write the best contacts down

Yes, your network doesn’t mean your connection list on LinkedIn. With your network, in this case, I mean all those connections that you actually share a history or at least once you’ve met or spoken to. So, spend the same time on research and write those connections down and also check where they’re currently (current job, city, etc.). 

Write a couple of templates that you can use and optimize for every single message

The next step would be to reach out to your network and send some targeted messages. You can use pretty much the same message each time but modify at least the start of the message like:

“Hi, Josie,

How are you? I saw that you’re currently working at IBM. I don’t know if you remember me, but we met a couple of years back at that event in London….”

So basically, use something that the person gets the feeling that you’re approaching just her/him and not dozens of people at the same time. Yes, this might take some time but believe me when I say that the results are much better.

Go to the point, and don’t be shy 

Most people’s immediate response to the idea of asking for help is resistance. No one likes to ask for favors, look needy or face rejection, so we avoid asking for what we need. After all, people are not mind readers, so it’s just better to put it out there. 

As the CEO of Global Headhunting Network, I get many messages from people looking for new opportunities. The problem here is that most of them ask me to look at their profile and let them know if I would have something for them. Yes, like I have a crystal ball that tells me what they want to do in the future or time to figure that out. Obviously, these kinds of messages never lead anywhere.

Improve your digital presence 

Once you reach your personal contacts, you can be absolutely sure that they will be looking for you on the Internet. They will be looking for confirmation that you are as impressive as they remember and that recommending you to their contacts would also make them look good. So you better not let them down.. The same goes for any recruiters and hiring managers considering you for an interview; these professionals want to know that you are worth their time.

So, make sure when you start doing this that at least your LinkedIn profile is trimmed. If you don’t know what I mean, here’s an article that was written by me, and there I list 14 critical things on your LinkedIn profile: https://inhuntworld.com/14-elements-of-a-good-linkedin-profile/ 

Don’t quit and ask again

I’m going to be really honest with you. Most of the people you’re sending the message for the first time will not get back to you. And it’s ok, and there’s nothing personal. So, after a couple of weeks, when not hearing anything back, you can just send a simple message where you ask if he/she got your message. And don’t be rude and start the message saying something like that you totally understand how busy they are, but you would be really grateful if they could spend a minute to help you. 

Be patient 

No matter how well you execute, this method will take some time. So be patient and don’t stop after a couple of weeks. After all, when it comes to recruitment, timing is a crucial factor. This means that some person who has received your message in the past didn’t have anything for you at that moment. However, after a couple of months after her team member left and suddenly, there’s a position that might be a great fit for you. And because you didn’t quit and you send at least a couple of messages to this person, he/she remembers you and will help you to get an interview with the HR person. 

Teemu Ruuska

CEO

InHunt World

https://www.linkedin.com/in/teemuruuska/

InHunt World has partners and offices around the world. Our mission is to help companies expand and grow in the international markets successfully by finding their new key employees. Recruitments abroad can be a headache and a big obstacle when expanding operations to other countries. With us, InHunt World, we will make that problem go away, and you can be sure that finding new team members in the new country will not be an issue.